Seeking to reach out to more people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed the countrymen over radio for the first time, giving a pep talk about how to shed despondency and use their skills for the betterment and prosperity of the country.
He advocated the need for use of khadi products as a homage to Mahatma Gandhi and impressed upon the people to generate confidence among themselves, including the specially-abled children.
Promising to make the radio broadcast a regular affair, Modi invited ideas from the citizens while noting that he had been receiving a number of suggestions since it was announced that he would be addressing the nation over radio.
In his 15-minute address, he sought to motivate people to recognise their capabilities and use them. "You know, our scientists have undertaken the Mars mission successfully at minimum expenses. There is nothing lacking in our capabilities. We only have forgotten our strengths. We have forgotten ourselves as if we have become despondents. My brothers and sisters, this cannot be," he said.
"We need to recognise our internal strengths," the prime minister said while narrating a short story of Swami Vivekananda about how a lion brought up by sheep rediscovered his prowess after coming in touch with another lion.
"If we move ahead with self-respect and right identity, we will emerge victorious," he said.
He also referred to Mahatma Gandhi, whose birth anniversary was celebrated on Thursday, and impressed upon the people to use at least one khadi product, may it be a handkerchief or even a bed sheet. It will benefit the poor, he said.
In the Mann ki Baat programme that coincided with Dussehra, the PM said, "the 125 crore Indians are blessed with immense skill and strength. All we need to do is to understand our strengths."
He cited some suggestions received by him through emails, which included that skill development should start from Standard V, special programmes for specially-abled children to motivate them, more dustbins, ban on polythene and making easier the registration of small scale industries.
"If you have ideas and actual incidents which are constructive, do share with me. Together let us serve India and take our Nation to newer heights," Modi said.
Referring to the specially-abled children, he said they should be a part of the development journey as the nation belongs to everyone. "They are the responsibility of not only their families but the entire society," he said.
Appreciating the suggestion for special programmes for the specially-abled children, Modi recalled his days as Gujarat chief minister and said, "We began khel mahakumbh for specially-abled athletes and I myself would go and see the sports."
He also said he would consider the suggestion for making it easier for registration of small scale industries.
Modi referred to the 'Swachh Bharat' campaign launched on Thursday by him and noted that he had invited participation of nine people, each of whom should rope in nine more, who will involve nine more and so on, to create a chain. "Let us pledge to affirm to remove dirt. Yesterday (on Thursday) we began the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan & I want you all to join this Abhiyaan," he said.
“This nation belongs to everyone. It is important for people to be a part of the development journey.”
He encouraged citizens to keep sharing ideas with me. “Together let us serve India and take our nation to newer heights,” he said.